Proposed change to debit card transactions could cost members and customers more
17 June 2021
Nine News reports on the potential negative impacts of any move by small and mid-sized banks to drop eftpos functionality off multi-network debit cards.
Taking eftpos off these cards is likely to increase payment costs for small business and also have a negative impact on consumers and innovation. Aseftpos Payments AustraliaCEOStephen Bentonexplains, consumers will no longer: 1. Have access to cash out at most merchants – a service used by Australians more than 34 million times at 43,000 merchants in the last three months alone 2. Have access to real-time medicare refunds – a service used by Australians 3 million times in the past three months 3. Consumers are also more likely to get surcharged when they go shopping as it may cost more for retailers to accept their cards 4. And they won’t be able to pay their friends in real-time with the Beem It app – a service used by more than a million Australians This issue is very important because debit cards are by far the most popular way for Australians to pay, and it is essential that this choice is maintained for the benefit of small businesses, consumers and FinTechs. As debit cards move to online and mobile, keeping eftpos as a choice becomes even more important to drive down costs and promote innovation. eftpos is keen to work with the Reserve Bank to ensure that these consumer services remain available, and that low cost to small businesses is maintained through keeping eftpos on debit cards.
Jos de Bruin, CEO of Master Grocers Australia (MGA), said the prospect of banks recalibrating their debit cards to operate only on one network would erode competition and bloat the costs borne by retailers and cardholders.
“We are very concerned about the risk of the Eftpos service being removed from debit cards,” he said.
“Eftpos is the more affordable system for small businesses to use.”
The MGA was a signatory to the letter handed yesterday to senior government ministers and members of the Labor Opposition.